Two ex-criminals have shared their advice on on best ways to deter burglars from targeting your home this summer.
The burglar-proof guide, written on condition of anonymity, comes as England and Wales statistics showed burglaries had increased by nine per cent between 2016 and 2017, with on average more than 1,200 offences recorded each day.
According to the top 10 list, compiled by Bark.com, having a recording of a barking dog playing inside the home and resisting the urge to upload holiday snaps to social media are among the best ways to deter crooks from breaking into an empty house.
The guide said: "A dog’s bark will make thieves think twice about breaking in. They’ll think that someone else is in the house or that the dog will attract unwanted attention to them.
"Too many people freely put information about their schedules on social media, which helps burglars when it comes to figuring out when to steal from a property.
"Check your home insurance policy too, as some may pay out less or not at all if you’ve published that you’re away on social media."
The ex-criminals duo also advised installing a deadlock and considering installing fake or real alarms systems and CCTV.
"The installation of a deadlock will make it a lot harder and time-consuming to pick a lock. In most cases, a burglar will move on when they realise they’re up against a deadlock.
"(An alarm) will deter any burglars from even attempting to break into your home. If you’re put off by the cost, sometimes just the sight of one will put a thief off so you don’t necessarily need to fork out for a real one.
"Like with burglar alarms, these don’t always need to be functioning. If a burglar is casing your home, they’ll likely avoid yours because of the increased risk of getting caught."
Bark.com co-founder Kai Feller said his company had received a 42 per cent increase in demand for home security services.
He said: "No one likes to think about their home being burgled, but it is definitely something that should be considered before you go on holiday for a week or two.
"With peak holiday season coming up, we wanted to make sure everyone’s home is as protected as it can be."
The guide also recommends keeping on top of your gardening, making sure your keys are hidden from site, installing motion activated lights and applying WD-40 to window sills to make them less grippable.
"If the lawn is freshly mowed, then burglars will question whether a house is in fact vacant.
"It also gets rid of any potential hiding spots. Burglars will watch houses for a few days to see patterns of the occupants so it’s a good idea to hire a gardener to come around whilst you’re away."
According to the ex-thieves, passports and driver’s licences should also be taken with travellers to avoid potential identity theft.
Top 10 tips from former burglars:
1. Take passports and driving licenses away with you to reduce the risk of identity fraud
2. Have a recording of a dog barking
3. Install a deadlock to make it harder for a burglar to pick a lock
4. Don’t post your holiday snaps on social media, it will help thieves work out when your property is vacant
5. Keep on top of your gardening by hiring a gardener when you are away to make the house look occupied
6. Install a burglar alarm or put up a fake one to deter a burglar attempting to break into your home
7. Install CCTV or put up a fake camera – burglars don’t want to risk getting caught on camera
8. Make sure keys are hidden from sight to prevent a burglar accessing other areas of your home or stealing your car
9. Buy motion activated lights that light up whenever someone comes onto your property
10. Put WD-40 on your window sills to make them harder for a burglar to grip and use to climb into your house
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